Archive | opinion

The future of theme development

14 May 2012 comment icon4 | Categories: opinion

WordPress theme development has come a long way in the past few years. We are in the middle of an explosion in the number of different methods a theme developer can choose when it comes to building WordPress themes. This explosion is partly a result of a seismic shift in the broader web design and development community. Just about every single aspect of how we as a community build frontend code is changing – and in multiple directions with different options.
Let’s take a quick look at some of these.
HTML5
HTML5 is a lot more than just an increment on the bedrock markup standard that the modern web is built upon. Heck, it’s single handedly killing flash. …

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In defense of themeforest

17 October 2011 comment icon0 | Categories: development, opinion

I’ve been keeping a close eye on a number of different theme marketplaces recently. As far as WordPress is concerned, to me there are 2 main marketplaces in the ecosystem today. The first and the biggest by some distance in my opinion is the juggernaut that is themeforest (part of envato). The second is the newer kid on the block Mojo Themes (disclosure: I currently sell themes with Mojo Themes). This isn’t a themeforest vs. Mojo Themes post – it wouldn’t be appropriate for me as I’m currently not a theme seller on themeforest. This is purely a post to dispel some common misconceptions about the quality of product available in said marketplaces.
If it was once …

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Hello WooCommerce, Bye bye Jigoshop?

25 August 2011 comment icon17 | Categories: opinion, plugins, theme news

Hmm…this is an interesting one.  WooThemes have pulled off a pretty spectacular move today and forked Jigoshop (our favourite new WordPress eCommerce plugin) into WooCommerce, which will replace it’s heretofore unsuccessful attempts at creating a WooCommerce platform off their own bat. The possibly bigger news is not only have they forked Jigoshop but they’ve brought in the 2 main guys responsible for making it in the first place – Jay Koster & Mike Jolley from Jigowatt. This move by WooThemes raises all sorts of emotions.
Has this move effectively killed Jigoshop?
I’m sure Jigowatt will not be too pleased. In one swoop, WooThemes have forked their project and nabbed the 2 guys responsible for most of the work that …

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Should Custom Post Types live outside of themes?

23 August 2011 comment icon2 | Categories: featured, opinion

Wow it’s nearly a month since my last post! My head is still buried in pixel pushing for some new WordPress themes I’m working on – one of which I hope to publicly release in September – more on that in the coming weeks. One thing that has struck me in a big way over the past few weeks of WordPress development is some of the inherent constraints of Custom Post Types. It is perhaps best explained with a very real example scenario that I’m sure happens all the time.
Take your typical WordPress theme consumer Bob and his wonderful Acme Theme 2010. NOTE: The actors and themes real names have been changed in this post to protect …

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How do you build WordPress themes?

29 July 2011 comment icon0 | Categories: featured, opinion

I’m knee deep building some new WordPress themes at the moment but am coming up for some air to throw out a question to all you WordPress theme building pros – How do YOU approach building WordPress themes?
When I first started building websites Geocities was the platform of choice for anyone who wanted a hosted platform for managing their website if they didn’t have a shared hosting account. If I remember correctly, most shared host accounts also offered about 20MB of disk space and writing a contact form in PHP3 was about as exotic as it got! WordPress wasn’t even a glint in Matt’s eye at that time 🙂
Things have changed quite a bit in …

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Why Shortcodes in WordPress themes suck

20 July 2011 comment icon2 | Categories: opinion

I’ve just spent the last couple of hours troubleshooting a WordPress problem for a client who uses a commercial WordPress theme. They are a recent new client who worked with a previous designer who selected the theme for them. I’m in the process of building their new site and said I’d help them out with any issues they have with their current site while I get the new one rocking and rolling.
So it was with little trepidation that I dived into a problem the client was having with their homepage layout today. 2 hours later and I hate WordPress shortcodes. Don’t get me wrong, when used right WordPress shortcodes are a joy to behold. Contact …

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Time for a refresh

20 March 2011 comment icon1 | Categories: about, opinion

So March has been super busy for me. As a result, posts have been thin on the ground the past few weeks – sorry folks. One thing that I’ve been itching to do is to refresh themesforge.com. Our current theme is a custom theme we put together around our relaunch back in late 2009. WordPress has changed massively in that time and we’re looking a little bit stale at this point. It’s time for a shakeup! At the moment I’m planning on building a new Genesis Child theme but have not 100% committed to that road just yet. I’m taking a bit of time this week to confirm that decision. One thing I’d love to …

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What will WordPress look like in 5 years?

02 February 2011 comment icon1 | Categories: opinion

Here’s a scary thought.
It’s just over 5 years since the release of WordPress 2.0.1 – holy moly 5 years!
For anyone interested or who’s long enough in the tooth to have been using WordPress back then, here’s a quick reminder of what WordPress 2.0.1 actually looked like.

Quaint eh?
Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how far WordPress has come in the past 5 years. I mean back in 2006, WordPress was an excellent blogging tool – but for me, the Joomla project which was also in it’s infancy back then was superior for general website development.
Fast forward to 2011 and things are very very different. WordPress has evolved and grown exponentially in that time and for me …

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What makes a WordPress theme great?

29 November 2010 comment icon1 | Categories: opinion, theme news

Ok so this is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Why is it that some themes take off like a rocket and others which on paper look great never hit the big time? I’m not just talking about premium WordPress themes here either. I’m just talking about themes in general.
With so many theme designers churning out themes every day I’m sure they would like to know the “secret sauce” that some theme designers seem to have when it comes to hitting a home run every time.
Of the premium theme designers, it’s clear there are a few designers who have exceptional design skills and resources aplenty at their disposal which is certainly a major …

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Why WordPress needs a vibrant Premium Themes economy

05 August 2010 comment icon1 | Categories: opinion

While browsing wordpress.org this evening I thought I’d take a dig around the most recent free themes submitted.
I gotta tell you guys – what I saw wasn’t pretty!
I stopped looking after about the 30th theme going back to late May. I can safely say that of the 3o themes I looked at – I could not see myself using 2 of them – and that was me actively wanting myself to use as many as possible.
What I observed was interesting in itself.

Most new WordPress free theme submissions from the past few months are quite simply – crap.  (sorry to anyone reading this if you’re theme is on that list).
Of the ones that are of a …

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